A green forest of trees at Lake Vyrnwy Nature Reserve

Green Recovery Challenge Fund

Enabling the RSPB to create jobs, restore ecosystems and develop nature-based solutions to combat climate change.

Curlew in crisis

In upland parts of Northern England, the Eurasian curlew is on the verge of extinction, following a steep decline in its population. The Curlew Recovery Northern England project was designed to allow us to work in close partnership with farmers and their nearby communities to help halt the decline of curlew on two areas within the RSPB's upland priority landscapes, these are the Geltsdale / Hadrian's Wall corridor and the Forest of Bowland.


The project has delivered on the key themes of conservation and restoration, as well as connecting people with nature. In accordance with signed agreements, habitat improvements such as rush cutting, grazing, shrub removal, scrapes, and wetland features have been carried out, along with. monitoring of key variables. As a result of farmer events, activities, and communications peoples understanding and value of Curlew has grown.

Bluebells at RSPB Blean Woods nature reserve

Seasalter and Blean

Between Canterbury and the Thames lies a wonderful landscape that includes some of England’s largest woodland complexes, The Blean and the eastern reaches of north Kent’s amazing marshes. A grant of £1,884,900 was awarded in 2020 by the Government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund to the RSPB, Kent Wildlife Trust and Canterbury City Council to tackle the drying effect of climate change on this landscape and mitigate the impact on wildlife.


Works at Seasalter Levels were the culmination of over 20 years of planning and partnership working to restore this Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) into an outstanding wetland nature reserve. Interventions facilitated the restoration of 228ha of wetlands, whilst supporting species including breeding waders, wintering waterfowl, grasshopper, warblers and rare invertebrates.


Blean Woods is one of the few places in the UK where the rare heath fritillary butterfly remains. The Blean Woods re-wetting project delivered hydrological infrastructure, such as leaky dams to reduce loss of water and create better, wetter habitats for woodland specialist breeding birds and invertebrates. The project also included community volunteering to increase local engagement with the development of the site and a bog restoration project.


Wraik Hill Nature Reserve was enhanced by the implementation of new fencing, pond clearance, accessibility improvements, scrub removal and new interpretation, allowing the reserve to reach its full potential.


This programme of restoration and practical conservation measures, involving surrounding communities delivered at a landscape scale. The project has built climate change resilience into these sites, creating sustainable habitats for a range of wildlife and beautiful places for people to visit.

Connecting children and young people with nature in Birmingham

A £250,000 grant from the second round of the Green Recovery Challenge Fund is helping to provide over 1,800 children and young people in Birmingham with new and exciting experiences in nature.


The Naturally Connected Communities-Birmingham project has three strands of engagement to connect young families, primary-age children and young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) with local natural heritage.


The RSPB is working alongside The Prince’s Trust, Birmingham Open Spaces Forum, community groups and teachers to deliver a range of hands-on nature activities, enabling children and young people from a diverse range of backgrounds to immerse themselves in local green spaces across the city. Children and young people will also learn more about the local threats to nature, and the fund will support them to take their own action to save nature.


The project runs until March 2023, after which our aims are that local Friends of groups will have the skills, tools and a co-produced engagement toolkit to connect more young families to nature; the city will have a cohort of teacher ambassadors for school green spaces to cascade their practice; and a pathway to a conservation career will be in place for NEET young people.

These projects were funded by the Government's Green Recovery Challenge Fund. The fund was developed by Defra and its Arm's-Length Bodies. It has been delivered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England, the Environment Agency and Forestry Commission.GRCF_logo.jpg